A wide area network accelerator (WAN accelerator) is a hardware component, a software, or an appliance executing in a virtualized environment that provides caching and optimization of WAN services. A WAN accelerator is also called a WAN optimizer or application accelerator.
A WAN accelerator provides services to speed up information flow between the end users for imparting better network experience. Its target is to reduce the data volume to be transmitted. So, it compresses data and uses data deduplication techniques. The accelerator caches duplicate data and sends references of them when they are needed multiple times instead of resending the entire data repeatedly.
For enabling WAN accelerator technologies, WAN accelerators needs to be deployed at each end of the communicating parties close to their backup repositories. The source WAN accelerator stores data along with control information for global deduplication. The destination WAN accelerator stores global cache data. The setup is as follows: